Interview with a dog behaviourist

PUBLISHED: 10:44 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:44 26 July 2016

Jenny and Poppy

Jenny and Poppy


Colchester-based dog behaviourist, Jenny Parrett, tells us about Rusty and Poppy, the inspiration behind her change of career

Jenny and PoppyJenny and Poppy

A bit about Jenny

Dog behaviourist Jenny Parrett owns and runs Woofs n Wiggles, a dog daycare centre in Colchester. Jenny has two pet British Bulldogs, five-year-old Poppy and four-year-old Rusty

What is special about your pet?

I’ve had Poppy since she was a nine-week-old puppy, so the bond we have is incredible and she has helped me through some really tough times. Because she is such a special dog, she made me want to understand her language and behaviour more, so I retrained as a dog behaviourist. Inspired by Poppy, I gave up my career as a graphic designer to open my own dog daycare business so we could be with each other, helping more dogs have a fun-filled life and teach owners how to understand and help their dogs more. My other dog, Rusty, who is a re-homed dog, is also very special. We re-homed and rescued him a year and a half ago. It’s been incredible to be able to put all of my intense training into practice with him and see him transform. Changing a dog for the better is extremely rewarding.

What do you enjoying doing with Poppy and Rusty?

We do a lot of clicker training, teaching them new things to do around the house and de-sensitising Rusty to the lead so he is calm on his walks. We love our woodland walks, finding streams and muddy puddles, and having fun at Woofs n Wiggles during the day.

Are there any special memories you have with your dogs?

I have many special memories for each of them, some of Poppy’s are having her as a puppy, training together and her birthdays – we throw a great doggy birthday party at Woofs n Wiggles complete with special cake and party games. Memories of Rusty are predominantly thinking of how far he has come since I’ve had him. Even his fur has got thicker and shiny, not to mention his behavior improving tremendously. The bond we have developed is very special.

Do you have any funny stories you can share involving Poppy or Rusty?

We named Poppy after her family tradition, all the females were named after a flower and so we continued this tradition out of respect for her history and family, and also for the fallen. We picked her up from Shropshire, a four-hour journey from us and she ‘popped’ all the way home! The car was a bit smelly after a while and so we settled on Poppy!

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